Golf Africa! Sudan opens its very first golf course

Chances are pretty good that you'll have a hard time playing St. Andrews, Pebble Beach or Augusta any time soon. But if you've got a few bucks to spare and a sense of adventure, you can blaze a trail to a golf course that no PGA player has yet challenged.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for golf, Sudan-style!

Sudan has opened its first golf course, a nine-holer known as "Soba." Constructed by Harradine Golf, which specializes in golf courses in remote, often war-torn locations, the course sits close to the slums of Khartoum.

Naturally, the presence of a golf course in any kind of challenged nation draws criticism for its perceived elitism and use of resources. Sudan in particular raises some uncomfortable questions, as its president, Omar al-Bashir, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes committed in recent years in Darfur.

So who would build a course in such a place? Peter Harradine, the Swiss architect whose family began Harradine Golf in 1929. Think your job's tough? Dig on what Harradine goes through in building his courses:

"I've been in all sorts of war zones," he said. "I was in Lebanon just after the war. The Kuwaitis asked me to come over and sign a deal for a new course. I left Kuwait the day before it was invaded. I was in Togo two years ago and my colleagues were kidnapped. I was the only one out of five who wasn't kidnapped.

"They were only released after a ransom was paid. I've had to traipse through the desert when the Air France counter was bombed in Algiers. I was about to check in and I wasn't too far away when it went off. It's not until afterwards you think: I've been pretty lucky."

Lucky, yes indeed. So lucky that he's going to try his course-making luck next in another familiar war-torn location: Iraq.

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